Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Cruising to Buenos Aires

Often referred to as the Paris of the South, the Argentine capital feels distinctly more European than Latin American, with a significant migrant population that brought with it Western traditions in architecture, art, food and fashion.

From the 'cheto' (meaning posh) streets of Palermo and Recoleta to the bohemian markets of San Telmo, Buenos Aires is infused with an unmistakably Argentine attitude that seems to embody the passion, arrogance and intellect of the Tango for which the city is famous. This stands in stark contrast to the happy-go-lucky salsa and rumba by which the rest of the continent is characterised, and epitomises the essence of the Porteño psyche.

Take in a Milonga (Tango show) at La Glorieta or La Catedral, or simply watch the street dancers perform on Calle Florida, to get a better insight into the sentiment behind the dance, or embark on a journey of historical discovery by visiting Evita's grave at the majestic Recoleta Cemetery.

The city's other passion is of course football, with several premier division teams being based in Buenos Aires. By far the most popular, however, are Boca Juniors and River Plate, with the former being considered the team of the masses while the latter has a more aristocratic following. Whether you decide to go to a match or simply take a tour of one of the stadiums (Boca play at the iconic Bombonera while River play at the Monumental, which is also the home of the national team), you'll soon become aware of just how deep the rivalry runs.

When it comes to food, Argentina is famous for its incredible beef, and Beunos Aires is home to several excellent steak houses - or parrillas - where you can sink your teeth into a prime cut. La Cabrera in Palermo and Desnivel in San Telmo are perhaps the most famous, and both serve a selection of fine Argentine wines, most of which come from the vineyards in the foothills of the Andes.

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